Makeup Artists’ 2021 Top 23 Setting Powders

It is important to set your makeup with a good setting powder. After all your hard work completing a beauty routine-whether you choose to wear makeup or not-you want it to last as long and look as good as it possibly can. That’s why setting powder is a necessary step at the end. Having ever shopped in a makeup store or shopping online, you already know there are a lot of options, which is why we asked professional makeup artists for the definitive guide to choosing the right setting powder.

What setting powder can do for you

Jonet Williamson, a professional makeup artist and beauty expert, explains that setting powders set your makeup, providing you with longer wear and a softer finish. A setting powder can serve two purposes technically. According to Brittany Whitfield, professional makeup artist, the purpose is to absorb moisture and set liquid/cream makeup to prevent it from melting.

You’re going to love these products.

Setting powders that are the best overall

best setting powders

Gainsborough Prism Libre Loose Powder – $59.00

We’ll begin by pointing out that Sephora has given this setting powder over 84,000 “loves” so far. There are two unique colors for color correcting in each prism, as well as two colors for radiance, so you can achieve a second skin complexion.

best setting powders

Banana Powder from Ben Nye for $23.00

You know just how important this setting powder is if you grew up watching Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Originally, Kim Kardashian was a fan, but other makeup artists, like Wright, are huge fans as well. You will definitely be camera-ready with its matte finish.

Loose Setting Powder – NARS – $37.00

It’s available in two colors: sunstone for medium-deep complexions, and translucent for light complexions. You will look like you’re on the red carpet with this dress designed to reflect light. This is the perfect setting powder if you’re looking for a matte finish that’s still luminous.

Powders that work best in drugstores
For dry skin, the best setting powders are

Wowder Glossier – $22.00

With this powder, shine will be cut and your skin will be blurred without looking flat. Furthermore, since it has vitamin E, your skin will get a silky, non-drying finish.

Powders that are best for dark skin

Setting Powder Translucent by Laura Mercier – $39.00

According to the product description, Whitfield favors this setting powder because it holds your look for 16 hours. Translucent is perfect for very fair to medium skin tones; honey is for medium skin tones with olive, warm, and golden undertones; and medium-deep is for medium to very dark skin tones.

The best setting powder for under the eyes

Powder + foundation by MAC Studio Fix – $35.00

Whitfield says she can’t imagine her makeup kit without NW Studio Fix powders. She says they’re designed to give coverage, so they can be used for a night out when she isn’t able to make touches up. Suitable for brightening under-eyes, peach and pink warm shades are her favorite.

Setting powder that is free of talc

Powder setting and smoothing talc-free Kosas Cloud Set $34.00

While it’s not a loose setting powder, we figured we should include it in the roundup because it’s so great. Our recommendation would be to get this powder if you’re going for a no-makeup makeup look. Sheer and soft, it reduces shine. Despite feeling like nothing, the product description describes it as “looking like everything.”.

Mature skin: which setting powder is best
Setting powder: how to use it

Depending on how your powder is applied, your skin will appear matte or diffused. A small to medium domed shaped brush with loose bristles is optimal for obtaining a soft, focused/diffused look when dusting [the setting powder] in specific areas.

Press the setting powder into your skin with a sponge or brush that has a firmer bristle if you’re looking for a matte finish. You will need to use the brush that is appropriate based upon the area of your face you are brushing, says Alana Wright, a makeup artist. Rather than using a large brush to set your entire face, use a small, fluffy brush to set the under-eye area.

Whitfield says she uses powder at the end of applying concealer, especially under the eyes, so it will oxidize and dry down. According to her, powders might cause concealer and foundation colors to oxidize prematurely if they are applied while they are still wet.

In Whitfield’s opinion, there are no strict rules about how to set your makeup, but she suggests using fluffy brush domes, which will help you “build more depending on the look you want.” She also prefers setting with a brush because it can be more forgiving and less dense.

If you’re using loose powder, Wright advises tapping the powder over the areas you’re setting, then sweeping any excess powder away using small circles.

How to choose the right setting powder

There’s no doubt that powders that have been finely milled will deliver the best results. Whitfield says a bonus is if the lenses are translucent and can be worn by anyone. According to Whitfield, while illuminating setting powders are filled with prismatic particles, they can disperse in unpredictable ways.

Additionally, Williamson says she looks for powders that are not overdrying in order in order not to end up with cake-like makeup. She adds, “In addition to undertones, you should look for those as well.”

It is good to use a translucent powder, but you should also have a setting powder that brightens or blends in seamlessly with your complexion so that the finish looks natural. A talc-free setting powder with no flashback is what Wright prefers.

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These products are selected independently by our editors. Well+Good may earn commissions from purchases made through our links.

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